Pokémon for mobile: it’s the dream, right? That terrifying choice of starter Pokémon. Repeatedly trying to capture the rascal wildlings until the pokeball finally snaps shut. Daring to enter those frankly nightmare-inducing caves. Wouldn’t it look so damn glorious in piercing retina quality?
Keep dreaming guys, because the incoming Pokémon Shuffle - due to land on both Android and iPhone before the end of the year - has got nothing on the greats like You Must Build A Boat (Android, iPhone).
For a match-3 game to stand out, it needs to have some element of originality. Charmander and Squirtle’s emoji-fied heads just aren’t enough.
Don't sit around waiting for your Magikarp to evolve. 11 Games To Keep You Lazy This Summer for and
Money-maker shuffle faker
Pokémon Shuffle is an imposter. It takes the adored Pokémon name and slaps it on a tired formula. Where YMBAB adds an enthralling side-scrolling adventure, Shuffle imposes a lame limit on your number of moves, its odious take on freemium. The match 3 genre is so passé that this one doesn’t even warrant explanation.
Yes, the version of Shuffle released to 3DS as an online download wasn’t so bad. It wasn’t going to win a BAFTA, either - thankfully, the 2015 accolade for mobile game went to Monument Valley (Android, iPhone), an example of real innovation.
Critically, microtransactions are not forced upon the player; they’re in the background and completely optional. Hopefully Nintendo follows suit and eases up on the blatant money-grabbing a bit. We’d guess they’d be looking for more than Micromon’s estimated revenue of $1300/day, though.
Classic, emulator-free Mario on your Android/iPhone?
When do we get the real deal, Prof. Oak?
If Micromon can do it, why can’t we have the original on mobile? We still love Pokémon because of its dangerously addictive pick-up-and-playability, the constant craving to catch ‘em all, and the way it transports us away from the office and back to our childhoods.
And there are plenty of those already - in fact, there’s a long line of "accompanying" apps and games from The Pokémon Company, including Pokémon TGC, Camp Pokémon and Pokédex. The release of Pokémon Shuffle suggests that we are no closer to getting a fully-featured RPG classic for mobile.
A proper mobile Pokémon game would be out-and-out cray cray (in the best way possible). That’s what I, and most gamers, care about - not profit or "company integrity."
Until Nintendo goes all-in to mobile development (), we’ll have to stick to our Gameboy Advance SPs and accept ourselves as the retro hipsters we can’t help but be.
Are you looking forward to Pokemon Shuffle anyway? Will the Magikarp mobile offerings from Nintendo ever evolve to the Gyarados we're all waiting for? Will the Bulbasaur-shaped hole in my heart ever be healed? Let's do battle in the Comments below.